English

Both by ——- and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an ——-, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.

(A) background . . amateur
(B) citizenship . . intellectual
(C) nationality . . anomaly
(D) style . . advocate
(E) skill . . expert
  1. Correct Answer: C

    Explanation:

    Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

    Explanation for Correct Answer C :

    Choice (C) is correct. “Nationality” refers to one’s country of origin. An “anomaly” is an irregularity or deviation. If one were to substitute these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Both by nationality and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an anomaly, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.” The description of the “artistic peers” of Cassatt, an American woman, as “Frenchmen” sets up a comparison based on two factors: “nationality” and gender. As an American woman, Cassatt was certainly an “anomaly,” or irregularity, in her field.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

    Choice (A) is incorrect. “Background” refers to one’s past experiences, education, and upbringing. An “amateur” is a person with little experience. If one were to substitute these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Both by background and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an amateur, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.” It is illogical to claim that someone can be an “amateur” by gender, and the fact that Cassatt’s peers were Frenchmen would have no bearing on her level of experience as a painter.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

    Choice (B) is incorrect. “Citizenship” means having certain rights and privileges in a given country. An “intellectual” is a person concerned with ideas. If one were to substitute these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Both by citizenship and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an intellectual, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.” The sentence provides no logical link between Cassatt’s “intellectual” nature and the fact that “her artistic peers were Frenchmen.”

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

    Choice (D) is incorrect. “Style” means fashion or manner of doing something. An “advocate” is one who pleads the cause of another. If one were to substitute these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Both by style and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an advocate, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.” It is unclear how Cassatt’s “style” and gender relate to the claim that she was an “advocate.”

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

    Choice (E) is incorrect. “Skill” refers to ability. An “expert” is one with highly developed abilities. If one were to substitute these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Both by skill and by gender, American painter Mary Cassatt was an expert, because her artistic peers were Frenchmen.” It is illogical to claim that Cassatt’s status as an “expert” painter derived from her gender.

Test ID: 1247
Source: SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests